Statement at the UNSC Open Debate on Resilience-Building in Peace Operations
Statement04 November 2022
Thank you, President, and thank you for convening this timely debate. I also want to thank the SG for his wise words. I also want to thank our briefers for their thought-provoking messages to the Council.
I am particularly proud to sit at this table and to listen to former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson.
It is critically important that this Council and the wider UN system continue to work to address the underlying causes and drivers of conflict. Failure to do so would mean consigning ourselves to addressing the same security challenges repeatedly.
The path towards sustainable peace is not a linear process.
History has shown that hard-won gains can be fragile and reversible. Ireland knows this first hand from our own peace process experience.
That is indeed why we have prioritised the link between peacekeeping and peacebuilding during our term on this Council.
UN peacekeeping is a remarkable example of multilateralism and international solidarity. Across the globe, women and men are working tirelessly, some laying down their lives, to protect civilians and to resolve conflict. They do this to create the conditions necessary for a sustainable peace. I am particularly proud of Irish peacekeepers who have worked with other nationalities and served with distinction.
We know our peacekeeping operations are deploying to increasingly demanding and complex environments, where military solutions alone will not suffice. These challenges require a holistic and coordinated response across all pillars of the work of the United Nations.
For peace to be resilient and sustainable, it must be inclusive and locally owned.
Resolution 1325 (thirteen-twenty-five), passed just over 22 years ago, gave us a path to delivering peace and security more effectively. That is why Ireland has made the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda such a key focus throughout our time on the Council.
The Youth, Peace and Security Agenda has also the potential to be transformative. However, we must invest properly in order to achieve this potential. Supporting these efforts can help to address the underlying causes of conflict situations.
Creating an environment that is protective and resilient requires the engagement and input of local communities. This means putting women and youth front and centre of national and regional responses right at the start, not as an afterthought.
During our time as an elected member of the Security Council, Ireland has worked to recognise the importance of women and youth in peacekeeping and peacebuilding resolutions of this Council, particularly in peacekeeping mandates.
We have taken the same approach to Human Rights, by arguing consistently that measures to combat traditional and non-traditional security threats, including terrorism, must comply with international law. I would like to emphasize that this includes international human rights law, and international humanitarian law. By addressing violations of human rights we can help to mitigate violence and insecurity, radicalisation, and the growth of terrorism.
We must also be responsive to other drivers of conflict, including climate related security risks.
Many UN Member States, including a majority of this Council, recognise the clear link between climate change and instability. 113 Member States made their voices heard by co-sponsoring a draft thematic resolution last year, which set out these links. Despite the failure to adopt this much-needed resolution, the Security Council has increasingly incorporated climate-related security risks into its peacekeeping mandates. It is important that this work continues.
We have additional tools for peace at our disposal.
The UN Peacebuilding Commission is uniquely placed to guide the collective efforts of diverse stakeholders.
Peacebuilding gains can only be sustained if we continue to support peacebuilding programmes and thiscosts money. We must enhance efforts to ensure adequate, predictable and sustained funding for peacebuilding, including through the UN Peacebuilding fund. We must ensure that the “quantum leap” the Secretary-General has called for, finally becomes a reality.
We also need predictable and sustainable financing for UN-authorised, African Union-led peace support operations. We hope that the Secretary General’s upcoming report on this issue will prompt an open and frank discussion, and provide a window of opportunity to make concrete progress.
If I may conclude, I will turn to the issue of transitions. When Peace Operations leave or to reconfigure their strategy or footprint, it is vital that the UN system is ready to maintain and build on the peace gains that have been made.
To this end, Ireland led the adoption of Resolution 2594 (twenty-five-ninety-four), the first Security Council Resolution on UN Transitions.
The Resolution seeks to ensure that peace is not perceived as a moment. It is not the signature of a peace deal, the conduct of an election, or the departure of a peacekeeping mission. It is a process. It takes time, planning, and resources.
It is imperative that we have a shared understanding that, as conflicts end, our obligations remain. This is particularly important when it comes to the protection of civilians, who often face heightened risks, both during and after transitions.
That is why Ireland has worked to incorporate transition planning into peacekeeping mandates.
This Council must continue to work to ensure that we give our Peace Operations the best possible chance of success. We owe this to our peacekeepers, and even more so, to all of the people they were sent to protect.
Thank you, Madam President.